This summer, I’ll be speaking at a camp that is taking a pro-active approach to the vast usage of technology among teenagers. There will be opportunities for students to ask questions, respond to polls, and give feedback via text messaging.
I believe that this is a great response to what’s going on in the current teenage culture. I believe that this is a great opportunity to address the appropriate use of technology. I believe it’s a great opportunity to utilize a piece of technology that more and more teens are using. Of course, at the same time, I believe this presents a great challenge. There will be massive amounts of temptation to utilize the technology to disengage with the events taking place at the camp.
I am proud of this camp for extending itself and taking a chance on engaging students right where they are at. Rather than asking kids to totally ignore something that plays a major role in their daily lives, the camp is asking the kids to use it to participate in the experience.
This was solidified for me on Sunday night, when I had the opportunity to hang out with some teenagers. Rather than have conversations with one another, they would text each other. This blew me away. Rather than have a verbal conversation with someone sitting 10 feet away, the kids would text each other. Could it be that the topic of conversation was inappropriate? Potentially. But, from what I could gather, it was pretty much small talk.
There is a part of me that is concerned about the abundant use of technology for communication. Could it be that the more we use technology for communication the less we’ll be able to engage verbal conversations?
I’m excited to see how all of this plays out…at camp and in our world.